Joe Dever's Lone Wolf HD Remastered - PC Review

I grew up on these books, but it's been years. It was surprisingly easy to sink back into the world once more

Thomas Was Alone - Xbox One Review

Simple graphics hide a deceptively deep story in this platform puzzler

Geometry Wars 3 - Xbox One Review

It's time to take aim at some familiar shapes - but with some new twists in the gameplay

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - Xbox One Review

Some signs of new life in this yearly shooter are more than welcome

Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth - 3DS Review

A new console and a new visual style - but the same great characters and stories

Friday, February 25, 2011

A week or so off

Well, I had been doing pretty good getting Wed news posts out, getting at least a review a weekend out, that sort of thing. I will probably be taking a week or two off from posts though. I have a stack of new games I've been playing, and been pretty busy the last couple of weekends with other things. This weekend I have nothing going on though, so I plan to sit back and log some serious game time in and relax. Currently being played: King's Bounty - Legend on my PC, The Witcher on my PC, Monster Hunter Tri on my Wii, the latest Castlevania for my 360 and Fallout: New Vegas and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune for my ps3. I need to whittle down this list by 1 or 2 games though I think. Recently played games coming up for review soon include Metroid: Other M, Risk: Factions, the latest Pacman and Space Invader remixes and Faerie Solitaire so I have plenty to come - just need a week or two to get things around for the next flurry of posts. :) Until then, enjoy the 3 most recent ones including Marvel vs. Capcom 3 review. I've been enjoying that game a lot.

Monday, February 21, 2011

X-Men Mutant Apocalypse - Retro Reflections

Okay, the trilogy of X-Men (technically, Marvel) articles on the weekend. I doled out Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for the Playstation 3, then Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for Xbox Live - now I'm headed back to the Super Nintendo.



I couldn't think of any throwback Marvel vs. Capcom games I had floating around the house (though I recall similar beat 'em ups in the arcade once upon a time) - so I decided to look around for an X-Men or Marvel title, and found X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse for my Super Nintendo and figured I'd toss it in for a bit. Now, while the other two games I talked about this weekend were fighter games, this one is a beat 'em up/platformer. It lacks the depth of field you find in Final Fight, Double Dragon or Streets of Rage, but you have to time your jumps and memorize attack patterns a bit more along the way.

Early on levels are designed around whichever mutant you are going to play (Psylocke, Wolverine, Cyclops, Beast and Gambit). It's an interesting idea, since most games of this sort let you pick from a pool to get through a level - and that happens later in the game, but early on each X-Man is assigned a task in a different location, forcing you to use them all. This is a good and bad thing since you may prefer one character over the others, but it does add a bit more variety to the gameplay as well when you have someone like Wolverine who just tears through people using his claws while moving left to right, as opposed to someone like Beast who can cling to ceilings and attack enemies from above as well.



The story's a bit of a mess, which is often the case in these older comic games, but the sounds get the job done and the graphics actually look pretty good. I didn't spend a ton of time playing this one again - I honestly don't have the patience for memorizing platforming like I did years ago, but I got a grin out of my time running around beating people up along the way.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Marvel vs Capcom 2 - Xbox Live review

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is a game I got a lot of mileage out of in the past. I had the Dreamcast version and I played the crap out of it. I spent countless hours tweaking favorite teams, killer combos and learning how to use literally every one of the characters - and there were a lot of them. So it took me about 3 seconds to get very excited when Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was announced for the Xbox Live and Playstation Network. There are some cool modes to be had here, and a load of characters. I'll do a quick rundown on this game review-wise. Not quite as meaty as Marvel vs. Capcom 3 since this has been out for awhile, and not quite a Retro Reflection because while the game's origins are old-school, it got a slight update with its release on the Playstation Network and Xbox Live.


Graphics - 7:

The graphics were a blast back when this game first came out, and the remake has a few options like widescreen and some cleanup that help the game look better than the original, without touching the level of detail found in releases made currently. The colors are vibrant and characters are well-represented in their attack animations. The backgrounds look good and some of the special moves are still spectacular when they dominate your screen.


Sound & Music - 6:

It's all appropriate and while I don't have my old copy of the game on the Dreamcast (the disc got scratched beyond use years ago), I don't recall the sounds or music clearly enough to remember if what I found here is faithful to the original or not. What is here is solid for the kind of game it is. Again, it's a downloadable release, so Marvel vs. Capcom looks and sounds decent, especially given its price, but does not really go head-to-head well against newer released fighters like Super Street Fighter 4 or Tekken.


Gameplay - 8:

Everything handles just like I remember it. It took me a bit of practice to get back into the swing of things when I first bought it - it has to have been about a decade since I last played the game with any degree of regularity. Still, Capcom fighters have a sort of feel and pacing to them that allowed me to get my groove back pretty quickly. Everything is fast, over-the-top and rewards skill, though I do have to mention that some characters are a bit overpowered as well. Menus are pretty simple, but easy to navigate, though connecting online and setting up good sorting options to find matches that suit your preferences do not always seem to work quite as well as I'd like.


Intangibles - 9:

Then again, it has online! Seriously, this game's fun to beat up on the cpu with, and my son and I have gone more than a few rounds too, but online is where the real fun is at and if you can manage the lobby and get into the matches, there is a ton of value here. Not to mention that there are a ton of characters - 50+. Sure, there are quite a few who play similar to one another, but even so, that is a lot of characters to beat up on and to learn your way around.


Overall - 7.5:

There is a lot of fighting game to be had here. It's not quite as deep and satisfying in my opinion as the latest Tekken or Street Fighter games, but it's a quarter of the price. The pacing is a lot faster too - and it can be more frustrating for people who can't just pick up a game like this and keep up. My son is okay against the cpu, but not great and prefers to play against me. My daughters can't keep up at all, even on the easy modes. I have no problem with it and take it easy on all three when I play. The computer's a cakewalk but man - hopping online and finding people who can bust out moves as well - if not better (and there are a LOT of players out there better than me) is much more challenging - and rewarding.